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Citizenwald's Public Library

about 2 hours ago

" April 30, 2008
By Marian Godfrey,Barbara Silberman, and Tanya Barrientos



Mount Vernon, the House of Seven Gables, Hearst Castle: We have read about these historic houses, and maybe even visited them. Most likely, we have also been to one of the other historic houses in America—there may be as many as 15,000, more than four for every county in the country. Some thrive, but many are barely solvent, scarcely surviving in upkeep or relevance. The following articles describe how some redefined their role in the community—and thus stayed true to their mission and purpose.

By Marian Godfrey and Barbara Silberman

When Carter's Grove Plantation, an 18th-century Virginia mansion that had been owned by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for almost 40 years, was acquired by an Internet entrepreneur, the sale might have been interpreted as just another takeover by dot-com money.

In fact, however, the change of ownership was exemplary of a successful new strategy within the preservation movement: the return of some historic house museums to productive private use as a way to ensure the buildings' long-term viability.

Historic houses and buildings like Carter's Grove are a vital part of America's communities. They are the tangible reminders of our history.

The problem is that, now, many of their caretakers are struggling to attract visitors, maintain the properties and make ends meet.

Until now, historic buildings have been preserved strictly for the buildings' sake. But that has led to a troubling surplus of sites that are underused and hopelessly disconnected from their communities.

With modern competition from amusement parks, aquariums and interactive diversions, historic houses run by nonprofit organizations purely as museums face uncertain futures. These monuments need to be “repurposed” to be revitalized."

about 2 hours ago


Thoughts on Houses and Period Rooms, the compelling talk by Frank Vagnone, Director of the Historic House Trust of NYC, that was the catalyst to the Anarchist Guide To Historic House Museums.

Listen to the audio here and follow along with the PDF here."

about 2 hours ago

"If I needed to extend my house’s Wi-Fi signal and already had a good router, I’d get the $100 Netgear EX6200 Wi-Fi Range Extender. It’s the wireless extender we recommend for most people after putting in 110 hours of research and going hands-on with 10 extenders. It’s somewhat expensive, but it has the best combination of range, speed, flexibility, and physical connections of any extender we tested.
Last Updated: May 26, 2015
Our new pick is the Netgear EX6200. At long distances, it was the best extender of any we tested and the three different operational modes tailor its performance to fit your needs. If you're purchasing it from Amazon, be sure to check the "Other Sellers on Amazon" box to make sure you're getting the best price—likely from Amazon directly, not a third-party seller.
Expand Most Recent Updates

It can stream 1080p YouTube videos to three laptops 63 feet away, and was the only extender we tested that could stream a 4K YouTube video to a laptop at the same distance. Of all the extenders we tested, the Netgear EX6200 had the best long-range performance, even through exterior walls. It was also the easiest to configure so you can make sure you have the best setup for your home.
Our pick
Netgear EX6200
The Netgear EX6200 AC1200 extender gave us the best wireless speeds at long distances. Its five Gigabit Ethernet ports give your wired devices the fastest possible connection, too.
$102* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.

Keep in mind that a wireless extender isn’t the best way to get Internet to the farthest reaches of your house. If you want the best possible performance, you’re better off moving your router or buying a lot of Ethernet cable and adding wireless routers or access points where you need them. If that’s not feasible, or if it sounds like too much work just to get Wi-Fi in a few extra rooms, the Netgear EX6200 is the best Wi-Fi extender for most people."

about 2 hours ago

"Buying Advice

The best router for most people is the Archer C7 ($100). It’s a dual-band 802.11ac router, meaning it can run both 2.4GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks, and it supports the fastest Wi-Fi speeds of every wireless device you can buy, including the MacBook Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S6 or the brand-new iPhone 6s. The Archer C7 is faster over longer distances than most routers that cost $150 or more, and it’s the best value of the more than two dozen routers The Wirecutter tested in the last two years.

The Archer C7 isn’t for everyone. So The Wirecutter also combed through test results and picked some routers for different living situations, such as small apartments or homes where people primarily use Apple devices.

Generally, we recommend you upgrade to a new router every three to four years. That accounts for how often people typically upgrade devices like smartphones (every two years) and computers (every three to four years).

Yet whether your smartphones, computers and tablets are one, two or five years old, now is a good time to buy a new router if you haven’t in the last three years. Newer devices are probably using the 802.11ac standard, so you will get the fastest speeds at long distances with an 802.11ac router. If you hoard old devices, you will also get faster speeds and greater range. These benefits will be especially clear if you stay on a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network for as long as you can.

One caveat: If you use a slower Internet service like DSL, you can probably hold on to a router for longer than three years. A newer router can still be useful because of the improved wireless range, but you won’t experience a big difference in speeds.

If your house is so large that a new router won’t be able to cover every inch with a great Wi-Fi signal, you could install a Wi-Fi extender, which enhances an existing Wi-Fi connection to increase coverage. Powerline networking, which converts a house’s electrical wiring into a wired Internet connection, is another option, but you’ll have to check if your home supports it.

As for Mr. McConnell, the retired engineer eventually solved his Wi-Fi headache by setting up his devices to stay on the 5 GHz radio band. To get a Wi-Fi signal to his iPad in the bedroom, he also set up an extender. Now everything is smooth sailing, he said.

“I’ve got my life back,” he said."

about 20 hours ago

"University of Virginia Professor and Director of Rare Books will discuss the enduring relevance of the book as a physical object, Wed., April 4, 4:30 p.m. Neilson Library Browsing Room.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
4:30 pm The Future of Books in the Digital Age
Neilson Library Browsing Room

Michael Suarez

Michael F. Suarez is Director of the Rare Book School, Professor of English, University Professor and Honorary Curator of Special Collections, all at the University of Virginia.

A leading scholar of the history of the book, Suarez’s most recent publication is The Oxford Companion to the Book (2010), a million-word reference work on the history of books and manuscripts from the invention of writing to the present day. The SundayTelegraph in London called it “colossal” and “a paradise for book lovers;” while The Wall Street Journal praised it as “a fount of knowledge where the Internet is but a slot machine.” A Jesuit priest, Michael is currently co-General Editor of The Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO), perhaps the largest digital humanities projects extant today.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Smith College Libraries.

about 20 hours ago

"A vitriolic medieval manuscript illuminates how Google is destroying the act of reading

By Ryan Szpiech

The Dagger of Faith in the Digital Age

A vitriolic medieval manuscript illuminates how Google is destroying the act of reading

By Ryan Szpiech
October 7, 2014

Google Plus

I have come to my favorite café (which has very fast Wi-Fi) and ordered a coffee. Sitting in my favorite sunny window, holding my hot mug and watching ephemeral wisps of steam flicker and disappear over the coffee’s surface, I open my laptop (a MacBook Pro with a 750 GB hard drive—enough to store over 300 million pages of text or over 100 billion words) and I enter a three-word search in Google. Looking at the results (delivered in less than a second by one of Google’s estimated one and a half million worldwide servers, which process over 4 billion individual searches per day, including mine), I follow the first link, and I am off to Coimbra, Portugal, where there is an extraordinary multilingual manuscript (MS 720) that has, so far, been little studied.

With two more clicks I am viewing it in high resolution: one of 13 known copies or fragments of the 13th-century Christian polemic Pugio fidei (“Dagger of Faith”), finished by the Catalan Dominican Ramon Martí in 1278. The work is a lengthy, three-part treatise that aims to prove Christian truths on the basis of biblical and post-biblical texts (Talmudic, Midrashic, Qur’anic, and philosophical). Unsavory in its vitriol, it is nevertheless striking for its inclusion of citations in the original languages (mostly Hebrew but also Aramaic and, in a few instances, Arabic) alongside careful translations into Latin.

Like most of the manuscripts of the Dagger, the Coimbra codex, datable roughly to the late 14th or early 15th century, is incomplete, containing only the second and third parts of the work and lacking the first. It is, however, one of a handful of copies that actually contain non-Latin text, many having omitted it or copied it only partly. Most scholarship on the Dagger has been done on the basis of the two 17th-century printed editions (Paris, 1651, and Leipzig, 1687), both of which are composites of four similarly incomplete manuscripts, now lost. Recently, more attention has been given to the oldest and most complete manuscript (and probably an autograph copy), now held in Paris (Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève MS 1405), the only one to contain all the text in all languages. While scholars of the Dagger are generally aware of the Coimbra manuscript, virtually no studies have been done on it in particular. Perhaps this is, I surmise as I sip my coffee, because Coimbra lies somewhat apart from other major manuscript collections in the Iberian Peninsula in Madrid and Lisbon. On my screen (15 inches, with a Retina display of 5.1 million pixels), I open one browser window with the Coimbra manuscript and another next to it with the searchable text of the 1687 edition, one of some 30 million works in 480 languages that have been scanned by Google Books so far.

Coimbra does lie at a distance from Madrid and Lisbon, but this limitation was partly overcome in early 2009 when the Coimbra library put this high-resolution scan of the whole manuscript online, providing free, open access to a codex that had previously lain in relative obscurity. Now anyone like myself with an Internet connection can instantly see an image of the manuscript, as well as quickly find out information about the text, the author, and the other manuscripts that survive. The manuscript may be housed in Coimbra, but its intellectual home is no longer there. Along with millions of other documents and images, it has been untethered from its place, “removed,” as John Berger has stated about reproduced art images, “from any preserve.”

I am part of a team of scholars preparing the first modern edition of the work, and today I begin by comparing the text in Coimbra to those of the Paris manuscript and of the printed editions, searching for variants. My eyes dart from window to window, I zoom in and out, I search for text and my data accumulates steadily. For a few minutes, I am able to concentrate and work effectively. But soon my mind starts to wander. I am interrupted by daydreams of Coimbra, of what it is like to sit at the library there. I imagine the animal whose skin was made into parchment, the medieval scribes who copied this text—hands aching, eyes straining, working at their desks in a fading light. I become aware of my own comfort—my painless hands, my leisurely labor—and the tools that enable my work begin to annoy me. I stop working and begin to ponder my own discontent.

The Coimbra manuscript, viewed on my laptop in my favorite café, is a perfect starting point to explore the meaning of manuscripts in an Internet age. The questions it raises have led me to consider the significance of two major innovations that were introduced only a few years ago but that I believe have produced a sea change in the nature of reading and writing, a change akin in its revolutionary character to the invention of the metal type mold and printing press: the rise of book digitization through efforts by Google Books, Project Gutenberg, the Perseus Project, the Hathi Trust, and others; and the dramatic evolution not only in the portability, speed, and scale of computing devices, but in their capacity to search for and retrieve data copiously and quickly. Studying the Coimbra manuscript has also pressed me to explain how and why, in the context of the digitization, manuscripts have acquired for me a heightened value as “authentic” objects, unique products of human labor that are largely untranslatable to the codified languages of digital text.

It is not my intention simply to bemoan the loss of the bygone days of printed books or handwritten codices, or to wistfully elegize the pleasure that I, like many, feel from direct contact with manuscripts (but not from screen reading), although I will indulge in little bemoaning and elegizing. My point has to do with the status of manuscripts in the context of our new capabilities of text searching and portability. "

about 20 hours ago


Israeli Historian Otto Dov Kulka Tells Auschwitz Story of a Czech Family That Never Existed

Why Holocaust accounts—and their fictions or omissions—can be a threat to the history of a complicated, tragic human reality

By Anna Hájková
October 30, 2014

Google Plus

Alena and Miloš Hájek, 1946. (Joanna Neborsky )

In 2013 the Israeli historian Otto Dov Kulka published a recollection of his childhood in concentration camps, Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death. Historians and general audiences praised the poetic and reflective tone of the book. Deported at 11 years of age from Theresienstadt, Kulka spent a year and half at Auschwitz and is one of the very few children of his age who survived. Quite unlike most other survivors’ accounts, Kulka’s book has little narrative: It is a collage of impressions, dreams, and metaphysical musings about the world of Auschwitz.

Yet this style masks the fundamental omission of a complicated family history, including adultery, bitter divorce, and a paternity suit. In short, what Kulka wrote was a book about a family that never was.

Beyond the poetic observations of death and mass killing, Landscapes tells a story of a Jewish boy, Otto, born in 1933, whose father, Erich, was deported as a political prisoner in 1939. Otto and his mother Elly are deported together with their relatives to Theresienstadt and then join his grandmother to be sent to Auschwitz in September 1943. In the Family Camp in Birkenau, they meet up with Erich, who conceives with Elly a second child. Elly and Otto survive the murder of the first transport in March 1944 due to being registered as sick. In July 1944, when the Family Camp is closed, they pass a selection and are separated; Elly is sent to Stutthof. In the emotional heart of the book, Elly parts with Otto, a modern Eurydice who walks away to save her unborn child. She gives birth to a boy, but her fellow prisoners kill the baby in order not to endanger their own lives. Elly dies in January 1945, during the evacuation of the camp, having contracted typhus. Erich and Otto survive.

The real story of Erich Kulka’s life, which I was able to reconstruct on the basis of the custody file, secret police files, survivor testimonies, and various other records, is more complicated and less poetic—and much more interesting and illuminating. For reasons I will explain below, Kulka writes his little sister Eva and his first father, Rudolf, out of his family history. We could speculate whether he wrote his family members out because their very existence would point out that the love story between his parents, Elly and Erich, happened in a way he wouldn’t like to acknowledge.
Erich Kulka

Erich Kulka, early 1960s, visiting Terezín. (ABS, Security Services Archive, Prague)

Perhaps unconsciously, Landscapes of Metropolis of Death is a search for a normal family, defined by a conventionally acceptable love between two parents. Yet Kulka’s omissions present a troubling gap. Nothing is left of Eva and Rudolf; they were murdered immediately upon arrival in Treblinka; they don’t have a grave. Like most victims of the Holocaust, they were not famous people remembered for their lives. This is why Holocaust survivors in their testimonies speak about their family members who perished: to remember them by their faces, characters, commemorating people of whom nothing—nothing at all—is left. In writing Rudolf and Eva out of his account, Otto Dov Kulka essentially wrote them out of history, and out of existence.

Eva Deutelbaumová was, at 11 years, the same age as the Berlin Jewish girl Marion Samuel, whose name was randomly selected as the name for a German prize for works that contribute to the fight against forgetting National Socialism. One of the recipients was Götz Aly, the eminent German historian of the German perpetrators. In 2003, he set out and researched the life of the girl Marion Samuel, found her photo, family, friends, addresses, her last days, and wrote a short, important book about her. It is in this context that the treatment that Kulka, the Israeli historian of Jewish history, gave to his sister appears ungenerous.

Kulka carefully framed his book as a non-memoir and a non-autobiography, “fragments of memory and imagination that have remained from the world of a wondering child,” based on 10 years of tape monologues. The associative, poetic, vague text of Kulka’s book has a double function: It allows him to erase the uncomfortable parts of his true family history while situating his book in the context of great literary Holocaust memoirs written by children survivors such as Ruth Klüger’s Still Alive, or Gerhard Durlacher’s Stripes in the Sky (both of whom were with Kulka in the Family Camp), which see the horrors of the Nazi extermination project from the a child’s fragmentary point of view. But Klüger and Durlacher—as well as Ida Fink, Primo Levi, Charlotte Delbo, Fred Wander, Liana Millu—were not only great writers; they based their writing on real-life events with which they struggled mightily to come to terms. Kulka’s poetic, meandering style enabled him to write a book about his childhood without telling uncomfortable truths, which he instead omits and actively erases.

Kulka’s literary forgetting of his sister is also a part of another disturbing trend in the field of wartime memory. Scholars such as Bonnie Smith and Karen Hagemann have pointed out that men and women historians tend to write different kind of histories"

about 20 hours ago

"Four years ago, world-renowned geneticist Michael Hayden sat in the Göttingen city museum opposite its director, Dr. Ernst Böhme, having traveled from his home in Vancouver to his father’s German birthplace in search of objects belonging to his grandparents Max Raphael and Gertrud Hahn. While much of Max and Gertrud’s famous silver Judaica collection had been lost forever, provenance research showed that Hayden’s grandfather had sold a number of personal items to the local city museum in 1938, amid the so-called aryanization process that forced Jews to transfer their property into non-Jewish hands before they were deported and murdered.

The mood in the room was tense. Böhme told Hayden that while he wished to start returning his family’s objects, unfortunately he didn’t know where they were. Hayden was irked by the curator’s intimation that the museum had purchased the items for a fair price. In response to a lengthy list of objects that the museum was known to have acquired, Böhme showed Hayden two chairs. “I was so moved I had to go to the washroom, because I was seeing for the first time a direct link to my grandparents,” Hayden told me later. But shortly after the breakthrough came disappointment—they weren’t his family’s chairs after all. Hayden was devastated. “I felt like I’d invested emotionally into something that wasn’t real,” he said. “I felt betrayed.”

Three years later, on a chilly Saturday morning in November, the four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren of Max Raphael Hahn converged on the Göttingen city museum once again. They had flown in from Brussels, London, Cape Town, Vancouver, Toronto, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, and New York. The occasion was restitution—the first time that a local history museum in Lower Saxony would return Jewish-owned objects acquired during the Nazi regime."

about 20 hours ago

"By Nicholas A. Basbanes | HUMANITIES, November/December 2014 | Volume 35, Number 6

+ Click on image to enlarge.
Rare Book School Director Michael F. Suarez, S.J.

Rare Book School Director Michael F. Suarez, S.J., with an incunabulum and several other items from the RBS teaching collections.

—Photo by Terry Doran.

Rare Book School Director Michael F. Suarez, S.J.
a portable optical collator
a demonstration of binding technique
Setting Type

A week at Rare Book School on the campus of the University of Virginia starts bright and early on a Monday morning in Alderman Library with lots of protein and hot coffee, and a gentle reminder—no, make that a gentle directive—that before setting off for class, all hands are to be washed and dried in the sink conveniently located in a corner of the conference room, a routine that will be followed scrupulously in the days that follow.

Aside from the obvious, the overriding admonition being stressed is that cream cheese and fruit preserves may go great with bagels and croissants, but not so well with seventeenth-century bindings, eighteenth-century proof sheets, handmade papers from Holland, Japan, and France, or with any of the myriad other material objects from the vast teaching collections maintained here that will be minutely examined over the next five days by those in attendance.

Indeed, Michael F. Suarez, SJ, the dynamic director of what some alumni of the program affectionately call “summer camp for book nerds,” makes no bones about insisting that all other protocols for the proper handling of old volumes, miscellaneous leaves of manuscript, vintage woodcuts, copperplate engravings, lithographic prints, hand-tooled bindings, blind stamped cloth boards, marbled end-sheets—the list goes on and on and embraces everything that has gone into the making, marketing, and reception of books over the centuries—be followed as well. That includes a general prohibition on ballpoint pens for the taking of notes in any of the classrooms and “bibliographical laboratories.” For those who need a writing instrument, number 2 pencils are provided, though laptops and tablets are favored by most of the people who take these courses that are taught each summer by a veritable Dream Team of experts brought in from all points of the compass.

“These are five very full and intensive days, and we try to make sure they have plenty of energy,” Suarez quips during a break from the course he was teaching the week I was there, the fifth and final week of this year’s summer offerings, which included “The American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820–1940”; “Introduction to Paleography, 800–1500”; and “The History of the Book in China.” More than twenty-five such courses are offered throughout the summer, five during any given week, all packed into thirty hours of class, spread out over four ninety-minute sessions a day, with other “bookish” things available in the evenings, including public lectures by guest speakers, thematic exhibitions mounted from the collections, and informal wine-and-cheese get-togethers that help form bonds that endure for years to come.

Three hundred ninety-five participants enrolled this year in Charlottesville, a record high, and they represented a broad cross section of what, for want of a better description, can be called the “book world.” Students typically include special collections librarians, predictably enough, but just as motivated are postdoctoral scholars, archivists, academics, antiquarian booksellers, binders, conservators, fine-press printers, hand papermakers, private collectors, authorities from other disciplines eager to explore what for them is uncharted territory, and writers, such as myself, who wish to expand their knowledge in a specialized field.

At a time when everything digital dominates the information-delivery conversation, the great popularity that Rare Book School continues to enjoy in this cozy community of kindred spirits is a persuasive reminder that materiality still matters in some quarters. And it matters in ways that Suarez, a Jesuit priest whose curriculum vitae includes four masters degrees and a doctorate in English literature from Oxford University, believes are central to how the humanities should be taught in the years ahead, and how librarians might go about the task of serving their varied publics better."

about 21 hours ago

"Startup Light says its L16 will replace a fancy camera and lenses for a third the cost and fit easily into your bag, too.

By Rachel Metz on October 7, 2015

Why It Matters

High-quality photos typically require fancy, expensive, unwieldy camera gear.

The L16 camera promises much of the quality of high-end photography gear without the bulk or the cost.

A photography startup is building a camera that shoves the picture-taking power of a big DSLR camera and several detachable lenses into a gadget roughly the size of a paperback.

Light, based in Palo Alto, California, plans to start taking preorders for its L16 camera on Wednesday for $1,699, though some would-be customers may pause when they learn it won’t ship to them until late next summer.

The rectangular black camera can capture images of up to 52 megapixels. Unlike most cameras, which use just one lens and image sensor, the L16 will squeeze in 16 camera modules with three different focal lengths—five 35-millimeter ones, five 70-millimeter ones, and six 150-millimeter ones. Each of the camera modules will have a 13-megapixel image sensor. The cameras will simultaneously snap their own shots from different perspectives when you take a picture, and software will combine them automatically into one image that mimics what you’d get from a DSLR camera with a large lens attached to it.

“We don’t think that on day one everybody drops their DSLR and buys one of these, but we think there’s a great population of people that will appreciate the size, cost, and weight reduction,” says Light cofounder and CEO Dave Grannan. A high-end DSLR camera and equipment can cost thousands of dollars.

The Light Story from light on Vimeo.

The company has been working on its technology since 2013. In April, Light said it would bring its first cameras, with 52-megapixel resolution, to smartphones next year through a deal with contract electronics manufacturer Foxconn, which also invested an undisclosed amount in the company (see “A Way to Get Much Higher-Resolution Selfies”). Light cofounder and CEO Dave Grannan says it still expects that to happen late next year.

In the meantime, Light is working on the L16, which has the same technology but in a stand-alone form. The camera relies on what’s known as folded optics: each camera module is placed on its side, and light comes in through an aperture, hits a mirror, and then travels down the barrel of the lens to an image sensor. Since the camera modules have different focal lengths, different ones will fire at once depending on how close you want to zoom in on a subject and how the mirrors inside the modules move to grab light.

During a recent meeting in San Francisco, Grannan showed me a model of the camera that wasn’t working at the moment, along with several photos that were taken with it to offer a sense of the detail it can capture.

In one image meant to compare the capabilities of the L16, an iPhone 6, and a Canon DSLR, the image focused on the crackly glaze of a blue-green vase and fabric of a chair in a hotel room. Up close, the crackles of the glaze and stitching of the chair were definitely crisper and showed more detail than they were in the images from the other two cameras.

The L16 will include a display (but no viewfinder) and a battery meant to last for about 400 shots. Grannan says the camera will use a modified version of Android as its operating system, and it will be able to connect to Wi-Fi networks for sharing photos. Some less-intense image editing will be possible on the camera itself—users may be able to correct color, for instance—and after taking photos users will be able to manipulate them on a computer to do things like change the depth of field.

Photography lovers may have a hard time adjusting to the L16’s form, which is radically different from the cameras and lenses they’ve used for years. Grannan thinks they will adapt, though he admits it could take a decade for high-end digital cameras to make the shift from bulky devices we have now."

about 21 hours ago


Tuesday, October 6, 2015
(Published in print: Wednesday, October 7, 2015)

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To the editor:

I read with interest the Sept. 24 article about a shake-up in the Amherst Planning Department, in which the department’s new interim director, Christine Brestrup, promises “more outreach to residents.”

This is surely good news. I hope that with more community input, ungainly building projects such as the Kendrick Place apartments can be avoided. Clearly this structure is too large for the site and is a jarring addition to the neighborhood.

In addition to more scrutiny by residents in the planning stages for all projects, there is a need for changes in the zoning and building laws that would require stricter limits on a building’s size and height. I am in favor of more dense living space in downtown Amherst, but not at the expense of aesthetics.

In my view, the legacy of Kendrick Place will be a lasting monument to misguided town planning.

Lawrence Siddall


about 21 hours ago


Making the Most of What We Have: A Framework for Preservation Management in Rare Book Collections

Jennifer K. Sheehan


We are facing an uncertain future in special collections—one that will most likely continue to require us to make tough decisions. With cutbacks and limitations on resources plaguing us, the expense and time required for item-level treatment make it necessary to set preservation priorities within our collections.1 At the same time, digital initiatives continue to expand in scope and resource allocation, creating new opportunities and challenges in preservation management. Digitization has a valuable place in special collections as a supplement to physical preservation, but the danger arises when the digital begins to supplant the physical.

So we need to . . ."

about 21 hours ago

Identifying Major Stone Types


Oct 07, 15


One of the perfect poems in English is The Chariot, /13/ and it exemplifies better than anything else [Emily Dickinson] wrote the special quality of her mind. . . . If the word great means anything in poetry, this poem is one of the greatest in the English language; it is flawless to the last detail. The rhythm charges with movement the pattern of suspended action back of the poem. Every image is precise and, moreover, not merely beautiful, but /14/ inextricably fused with the central idea. Every image extends and intensifies every other. The third stanza especially shows Miss Dickinson's power to fuse, into a single order of perception, a heterogeneous series: the children, the grain, and the setting sun (time) have the same degree of credibility; the first subtly preparing for the last. The sharp gazing before grain instils into nature a kind of cold vitality of which the qualitative richness has infinite depth. The content of death in the poem eludes forever any explicit definition. He is a gentleman taking a lady out for a drive. But note the restraint that keeps the poet from carrying this so far that it is ludicrous and incredible; and note the subtly interfused erotic motive, which the idea of death has presented to every romantic poet, love being a symbol interchangeable with death. The terror of death is objectified through this figure of the genteel driver, who is made ironically to serve the end of Immortality. This is the heart of the poem: she has presented a typical Christian theme in all its final irresolution, without making any final statement about it. There is no solution to the problem; there can be only a statement of it in the full context of intellect and feeling. A construction of the human will, elaborated with all the abstracting powers of the mind, is put to the concrete test of experience: the idea of immortality is confronted with the fact of physical disintegration. We are not told what to think; we are told to look at the situation.

The framework of the poem is, in fact, the two abstractions, mortality and eternity, "

Oct 06, 15

"The country’s top cultural institutions look to stay relevant through night concerts, wine-tasting events and cool apps"

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